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By Walter Hazen

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The literacy test in Alabama at one time asked voters such questions as: The Constitution limits the size of the District of Columbia to what? Who presides at the impeachment of a president? Which government groups would have to approve the merger of two states to form one state? And so on. Could you have answered such questions? It seems certain that most white voters, then or now, could not. Sometimes literary tests bordered on the ridiculous. The experience of one black teacher (a Harvard graduate) who tried to vote in Mississippi illustrates the point.

2. Why were the Radical Republicans in Congress determined to punish the South? 3. What were the main points of the Reconstruction Act of 1867? Burden Down:A Folk History of Slavery (Ben Botkin, 1945) is an exslave’s account of the uncertainty felt by slaves upon learning that they were free. © Milliken Publishing Company 4. How did the Freedmen’s Bureau help the freed slaves of the South? 5. Why were blacks in the South little better off even after becoming free? The term carpetbagger derived from the habit of northerners who came south carrying their belongings in a bag made from a piece of carpet.

19. The performance of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment at Fort Wagner proved that black soldiers (a) would not follow orders. (b) were just as capable as white soldiers. (c) turned and ran in the face of enemy fire. (d) could not be trusted with guns. 20. Which figure represents the approximate number of blacks who served in the Union army in the Civil War? (a) 200,000 (b) 20,000 (c) 68,000 (d) 100,000 © Milliken Publishing Company 28 MP3476 American Black History The Civil War Amendments T abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

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American Black History by Walter Hazen


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